Support removing the Snake River Dams to Save the SRKWs

Chinook salmon are the killer whales’ primary food. Chinook salmon runs originating in the Columbia/Snake River watershed are the singular most important food source for the killer whales’ survival. Chinook salmon are endangered species themselves. There are not enough Chinook salmon to sustain even the 76 Southern Residents Killer Whales that are alive today.

Each year the Snake River dams kill many millions of Chinook salmon juveniles as they attempt to navigate the dams and migrate down river and out to the ocean. Despite the dams, some Chinook salmon do make it to the ocean and grow to adults. The dams again exact their toll when adult Chinook return to the Columbia/Snake watershed to spawn. The dams finish the killing cycle by impeding the Chinooks return to their spawning grounds.

According to hundreds of scientists, removal of the four Lower Snake River dams is the single most effective way to generate the abundant Columbia Basin salmon that Southern Resident Killer Whales need to survive and recover. Judge Redden, the judge who presided over the decades long Columbia/Snake River legal case involving salmon and hydropower, also believes the dams need to come down. Yet as the orcas spiral towards extinction, the federal government refuses to consider dam removal, and instead spends billions of dollars on unreasonable and speculative mitigations and habitat restoration measures to avoid significant changes to dam operations.

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Voice of the Orcas